Olympiakos may be the champion of European basketball but it still can’t find a way to beat its Greek nemesis, Panathinaikos, which delivered a second defeat to the Reds, 58-48, in a tense game at the Olympic Sports Hall.
In a rivalry as taut as the Celtics-Lakers in the NBA, the two teams locked horns again just as Panathinaikos shows signs of surging and Olympiakos has been playing lethargically, both in domestic and European competition.
Panathinaikos was led again by , on the other hand, owes its triumph to the energy and passion shown by James Gist from, who played for Maryland, and Brooklyn’s Ramel Curry, who scored 10 and 12 points respectively, and has now opened a three-point gap from the Reds with 12 games left to play.
Last month the Greens beat Olympiakos by eight points at home. With the new loss, the champions have fallen to third in the Greek league behind Panionios, which climbed into second after beating Panelefsiniakos easily, 92-70.
The competition is even fiercer at the bottom of the league with the last six teams within one point of each other in the standings. Ikaros Halkidas came off the bottom with a precious 89-78 home win over AGO Rethymnou, while Apollon Patras defeated host Ilisiakos 76-67 to avoid dropping into the relegation zone with Ikaros and Ilisiakos
Nea Kifissia is now joint fifth after beating Trikala 97-85, to go level on points with KAO Dramas, which lost 77-59 at Aris, in the first game that the Thessaloniki side played with Serb coach Milan Minic on its bench. Kolossos of Rhodes beating visiting PAOK 62-49, a week after defeating another Thessaloniki team, Aris.